The Charlotte women's basketball team secured a 57-38 win over the Coppin State Eagles on Friday, Nov. 11, at Halton Arena.
"I thought we looked sluggish in the first quarter," said Head Coach Cara Consuegra.
"I kept challenging our players; thankfully, they listened and responded. When they respond in the next three quarters, that's what we expect at Charlotte. When we get our defense going, getting our hands on the ball, and making them take difficult shots, it gets us going in transition and then we look like the team we should be. I'm proud of our team for responding and pushing through adversity, and we're certainly happy to be 2-0."
Charlotte improved to 2-0 on the season as Coppin State fell to 0-2 on the young season.
In the first quarter, Charlotte's defense looked solid, but fouls and good shooting by the Eagles put them ahead early. Charlotte offensively could not keep up in the first quarter, forcing bad shots and not making the most of transition opportunities.
Coppin State led 15-7 at the end of the quarter thanks to a 7-0 scoring.
The 49ers' adjustments started to take critical effect in the second quarter as they scored 18 points.
Mya McGraw scored four of the 49ers' first six points and started to take control of the paint.
Charlotte claimed the lead when Jada McMillian came up the court, rushing to the paint and releasing a layup with .3 seconds left on the clock to give Charlotte a 25-24 lead over Coppin State heading into halftime.
"I knew we needed the lead going in, so our team could have a little more momentum going into the second half, and I knew after making that shot that my aggression probably needed to carry over, so that's what helped me in the second half as well," said McMillian.
Starting the third quarter, the defensive adjustments by the 49ers proved even more effective, limiting fouls and opening up the quarter with two steals leading to transition points, making it 31-25.
How about a no-look pass! J-Mac does it again! We've scored 13-straight points to close the second and start the third! CLT - 31CSU - 25📺 ESPN+💻 https://t.co/Hov1QzVLYB📻 https://t.co/Qhs1pdzAuB📊 https://t.co/9TrnN5UUst#GoldStandard | #playwithHEART pic.twitter.com/czRwHw3YDn— Charlotte Women's Basketball (@CharlotteWBB) November 12, 2022
The Eagles struggled to get anywhere offensively in the quarter.
The 49er led going into the final quarter of play 40-29.
Both teams found their rhythm offensively to close the game, scoring 17 points to end it.
Q4 | 3:23CLT - 51CSU - 37Kay drives and kicks it out to Keanna who knocks down the jumper! It's looking good tonight in Halton! 📺 ESPN+💻 https://t.co/Hov1QzVLYB📻 https://t.co/Qhs1pdzAuB📊 https://t.co/9TrnN5UUst#GoldStandard | #playwithHEART pic.twitter.com/3mUtdUBmDY— Charlotte Women's Basketball (@CharlotteWBB) November 12, 2022
Charlotte went on to win 57-38.
A key to this team's success is McMillian taking a step toward scoring first.
With the primary scoring option from last year, Octavia Jett-Wilson, having graduated, the team needs McMillian to step and take more shots because when she does, she shoots efficiently.
She led the team with 12 points on 6-8 shooting.
"Sometimes, I can rely on her to score. It depends on if she wants to shoot the ball or not. But this season, she's done a good job listening to my message. That's the thing about Jada [McMillian]; she's going to do whatever the team needs and will play that role," said Consuegra.
Dazia Lawrence is proving to be a vital contributor to the team.
She filled the stat sheet with 11 points, eight rebounds and two assists. This performance, combined with her 29 points against App State, earned her C-USA Player of the Week.
Charlotte will be back in action on Wednesday, Nov. 16, when they travel to Raleigh, N.C., to take on the No. 10 North Carolina State Wolfpack.
The contest will tipoff at 7 p.m. inside James T. Valvano Arena at William Neal Reynolds Coliseum. The game will be available to stream on ACC Networks.
GAME DAY! Did someone say ROAD TRIP?! Hey #NinerNation, we need you in Raleigh tonight! 🆚 #10 NC State⏰ 7pm📍 Raleigh, N.C.📺 ACCNX💻 https://t.co/WwQ1IpenmR📻 https://t.co/lQZ6juWGij📊 https://t.co/C0x1mweziM#GoldStandard | #playwithHEART pic.twitter.com/qT9kCJrpjR— Charlotte Women's Basketball (@CharlotteWBB) November 16, 2022